Traffic Violations and Your Driving Record
Your driving record is forever. Any conviction for a speeding ticket or other moving violation like a car crash or DUI can stay on your record unless they are expunged by court order. Therefore, you should clearly know how long does a speeding ticket stay on your record in California. If you’ve been the cause of an auto accident or have racked up a few speeding tickets, you may be feeling the effect on your driving record and insurance premiums. Most states have clear rules regarding how infractions affect your driver’s license status. Here is what you should know about your California driving record.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles has a point system concerning drivers’ licenses. You can get DMV points on your license in a number of ways. If you get pulled over by a police officer and he writes you a traffic ticket for a moving violation you will now face at least one point being put on your driver’s license record. A moving violation is any violation of the law committed by the driver while it is in motion. Non-moving violations are issues such as parking tickets, fix-it tickets, and paperwork violations.
Is Speeding Ticket an Infraction or a Misdemeanor?
If you are stopped for speeding, the officer will issue a ticket under VEH 22350 or 22350VC, which is California state’s traffic law related to speeding.
A speeding ticket, typically, is regarded more as an infraction than a misdemeanor. However, reckless driving or street racing may be considered a misdemeanor. Also, if you fail to pay the penalty or appear in court within the stipulated deadline, you may be committing a misdemeanor.
How Many Points Does a Speeding Ticket Add to Your License in California?
In most cases, a speeding ticket adds one point to your license. In certain situations, however, more points may be added to your license, or your license may even be suspended or revoked.
- If you are stopped by a law enforcement officer for driving at more than 100 mph for the first time, 2 points will be added to your license
- If you are charged for speeding while DUI, your license will be suspended with immediate effect. Your points record will not be taken into consideration in such a situation
The number of points you receive for speeding may also lead to the suspension or revocation of your driving license. Your points must not exceed:
- 4 points in a year
- 6 points in 2 years
- 8 points in 3 years
There are stricter laws related to speeding by drivers under the age of 18. Their license will be revoked if:
- They do not pay the fine for a speeding ticket
- They collect 3 points in a year
- They are charged with DUI regardless of the amount of alcohol or drugs
Cost of a Speeding Ticket in California
In comparison to other states, speeding tickets cost more in California. The national average cost of a speeding ticket is nearly $150 but it varies from one state to another. While for states such as Virginia and Illinois, a speeding ticket may set you back by $2,500, the ticket costs in Tennessee are much lower. You may pay as low as $50 for a speeding ticket in the state.
In California, you may have to pay almost $490 for a speeding ticket. However, it is not easy to estimate the cost of a speeding ticket in the state based on how fast you have been driving. It includes a complex system wherein several assessments such as state penalty assessment and county penalty assessment, penalties, service fees and fines, court fees, and state surcharges are added to your base fee. The base fee ranges from $35 to $100 depending on how much you exceed the speed limit. Also, you will be fined $200 for driving over 100 mph irrespective of the speed limit. A further $35 is charged if you are found to be overspeeding in highway construction and maintenance zones.
How Long Does a Speeding Ticket Stay on Your Record in California?
The length of time depends on the severity of the offense:-
- Most one-point convictions remain on your record for 3 years
- A speeding ticket stays on your record for 3 years
- A DUI stays on your record for 10 years
Most points (illegal turn, not making a complete stop, driving over the speed limit, etc.) and/or accidents will stay on your DMV driver record for 3 years. Points for more serious offenses, such as hit-and-run or a DUI, will stay on your license record for 10 years.
Remember that the best way to protect your auto insurance premiums and driving record is to drive safely and stay on top of your coverage.
Can a Speeding Ticket Be Dismissed in California?
Getting a speeding ticket dismissed is not easy but not entirely impossible. Your ticket may be dismissed by the judge in the following scenarios:
- If you have evidence and/or witnesses
- The law enforcement officer who issued you the ticket is absent for the court hearing
You may also plead your case for speeding ticket dismissal in writing. You need to submit a Request for Trial by Written Declaration with which you must attach your written statement and also those of the witnesses. If your case is rejected, you can ask for a court date where you can present your case in person.
Your speeding ticket may lead to an increase in your auto insurance cost. The points on your driving license are taken into consideration by the insurance provider while calculating your premium rates.
We hope that you now know how long does a speeding ticket stay on your record.